“All technology refers to the bomb.”
- Don DeLillo, Underworld
George W.’s recent confessions of government intrusions
into the personal lives of American citizens and residents have
reintroduced issues of surveillance
to the forefront of the American social consciousness. Of course, reality TV
shows, consumer surveillance cameras, and the like have continually provided
visual reminders of the potential of surveillance, but Bush’s confession
highlights the ways that ideological surveillance undergirds U.S. domestic policy
and, thus, affects our lives in unwelcome, and less entertaining, ways. Ideological
surveillance informs the American, economic, socio-political framework and, consequently,
manifests in more than just U.S. domestic policies. Ideological surveillance,
I argue, informs a host of American cultural articulations, ranging from, for
example, recycling to literature. If this is the case, then we should be able
to locate the ideological underpinnings of waste management and the literary
manifestations of these underpinnings in the Environmental Protection Agency’s
(EPA) recycling guidelines as well as in contemporary, American literature.
Neil Evernden articulates the problems of anthropomorphizing nature in terms
of the human tendency to interject ideologies onto non-human subjects in the
very process of humanizing them (53). Nature is subject to human control by virtue
of being defined, understood, and treated by human “authority.” In
this sense, our view of nature may tell us more about the psychological frameworks
through which we view the world than about nature itself, or our views might
reveal that the psychological frameworks themselves are a part of nature. Regardless,
ecology, as a human attempt to be “ecocentric,” treats nature in
linguistic, and thus human terms. “Ecology,” Evernden asserts, “is
simply being used as a blunt instrument to help implement particular life-styles
or social goals” (15). Thus, the underlying ideologies that inform our “life-styles
or social goals” play a large role in determining our ecological approach
Evernden is by no means the first critic to view ecology through a psychoanalytic
lens. For example, ecofeminists, like Annette Kolodny, view the feminization
of the earth as being embedded with phallocentric ideologies, while others, like
Scott Slovic, suggest that the study of nature requires an awareness of the embedded
psychology of “finding oneself” (metaphorically) in nature (352).
Both approaches, however, are subject to the same problems of anthropomorphism
that Evernden highlights. That is, both Kolodny and Slovic ask us to view nature
empathetically as something fundamentally akin to us; however, as Evernden states, “we
might consider what empathy implies: an underlying similarity between the human
and the natural world” (41). Any similarity is necessarily a human construction,
and, thus, entirely one-sided. That is, nature, as far as we can tell, lacks
an intrinsic ability to reciprocate our empathy unless, of course, we perceive
that it can (in which case, again, nature’s empathy is still a distinctly
human construction). Moreover, understanding nature in human terms means projecting
our own egos onto nature – viewing nature in egocentric rather than truly
ecocentric terms. Regardless, we are bound to approach the study of nature from
limited, human perspectives. For this reason, as Nancy Easterlin asserts, “our
evolved human psychology can teach us about the interrelationship between humans
and the non-human environment” (5). It is exactly this space of interrelationship
and exchange between humans and non-humans that fosters a hypothetical overlap
in which human ideologies are interjected into not only our discourses about
nature and ecology but also into our perspectives on non-human subjects.
On one hand, earth-friendly ideologies cast recycling, for example, as a responsible
approach towards non-human subjects. On the other hand, ideologies that favor
a strong, national defense, for example, enable us to justify the potential use
of nuclear weapons (and, thus, the potential destruction of the earth as we know
it). Ideologies that inform our approach to and treatment of the earth influence
our relationships and interactions with non-human subjects. That is, I argue,
in a self-perpetuating cycle, ideologies that cast both waste management and
the manufacture of weapons of mass destruction as responsible approaches to the
treatment of non-human subjects both describe our attitude towards the earth
and prescribe our actions toward it.
As Foucault states, “Visibility is a trap” (469). By virtue of being
so exposed, nature remains constantly vulnerable to surveillance and, thus, remains
a trapped environment. The trap, however, is not so much in nature’s visibility,
but in its being subjected to human ideologies that cast surveillance as a necessary
means of social regulation. As nature is anthropomorphized, it also becomes subject
to the surveillance used to regulate human subjects. Although Foucault’s
theoretical applications of systems of surveillance focus on the control of human
subjects, we might assume that the ideological implications that both precede
and stem from this type of control also affect our perspectives of and reactions
to our environment. That is, once the system of surveillance is internalized
by human subjects, the subjects then also become part of the panopticon – both
watching and being watched by each other. Moreover, given Evernden’s assertions
regarding the anthropomorphization of nature – that ideologies become embedded
in the process of anthropomorphicizing non-human subjects – it becomes
clear that internalized surveillance affects the perceptual framework through
which we view, understand, and interpret nature. If this is the case, then panoptic
surveillance also governs our environment, if, for no other reason, because humans
represent a controlling force over the environment.
As Timothy W. Luke notes, the term “environment” has linguistic roots
that justify both the humanization and surveillance of nature:
Environing as a verb is, in fact, a type of strategic action. To environ is to
encircle, encompass, envelope, or enclose. It is the physical activity of surrounding,
circumscribing, or ringing around something. Its uses even suggest stationing
guards around, thronging with hostile intent, or standing watch over some person
or place. (64)
An environment, then, is a deliberately enclosed space, subject to surveillance
and supervision, and, by virtue of being circumscribed by human activity, it
is also subject to ideologies that dictate human behavior and attitudes.
Technologies of surveillance, specifically remote sensors, thus become apparatuses
for monitoring the circumscribed environment. Radar, ultrasonic imaging, multispectral
photography, infrared, sonar, GIS, and virtually all technological means of monitoring
both specific and general points on the earth all become methods of enforcing
the boundaries of the environment. These technologies of visual nominalism also
act as ideological apparatuses for monitoring, among other things, the accumulation
and management of waste; changes (natural and man-made) in the earth’s
terrain, atmosphere, etc.; the location of potential enemy targets; and the regulated
borderlines of enclosed, environments.
As Foucault states, “Discipline sometimes requires enclosure, the specification
of a place heterogeneous to all others and closed in upon itself” (author’s
italics, 141). Deliberately enclosed spaces became ideal arenas for surveillance.
For example, schools, hospitals, monasteries, and factories all function as Althusser’s
ideological state apparatuses (ISAs) for the purpose of gathering information
on human subjects and for regulating ideological social control. In each of these
four arenas, human subjects can certainly be watched, and, in internalizing ideological
surveillance, also support this system of control by watching each other. Visual
surveillance, however, is not the only means surveillance employed in these enclosed,
or environed, spaces. Schools also function as collectors of information on students
and their parents; hospitals record the frequency and spread of disease and illness
and the names of the contagious; monasteries enable subjects to volunteer personal
information in confessionals; and factories maintain detailed records on workers.
If nature is truly an environed space, then organizations responsible for the
collection of ecological information also function as ideological state apparatuses.
The EPA, for example, functions as an ISA, an eco-panopticon, that continually
surveys and monitors the natural environment. The EPA estimates that in
"1999, recycling and composting activities prevented about 64 million tons of
material from ending up in landfills and incinerators.Today, this country recycles
28 percent of its waste, a rate that has almost doubled during the past 15 years” (“Recycling”).
While their statistics may be well-informed estimates, the EPA, in attempting
to gather more reliable and accurate information, has designed information-gathering
procedures for the collection of information on statewide and national recycling
statistics. Their manual Measuring Recycling: A Guide for State and Local
Governments contains 164 pages of detailed methods for collecting this type of data. The
EPA describes the guide as follows:
This guide is designed to help state and local agencies measure municipal solid
waste (MSW) recycling. It contains instructions, definitions, case studies, tips,
forms, and worksheets to help calculate an MSW recycling rate. Information is
provided to help track broad categories of recycled materials and commodity-specific
categories, if desired. (Measuring v)
Additionally, the guide also states that, from 1992 to 1994, the EPA funded a “State
Data Collection project,” that collected information regarding the approaches
of different state governments in collecting data on recycling and sought “opportunities
for consistency in recycling measurement.” “The project concluded,” according
to the guide, “that a uniform, national method for measuring recycling
rates be developed” (1).
As a standardized tool for the measurement of recycling rates, the guide both
describes and prescribes specific processes for gathering this type of information.
Beginning with a justification for standardization of definitions and techniques,
the guide offers specific details on planning and designing a program for gathering
recycling statistics as well as information on implementing and enhancing such
a plan in order to conform to a standardized approach that best facilitates the
collection of national averages. In short, the guide, on one hand, describes
a uniform approach to measuring state and local recycling statistics while, on
the other hand, it prescribes the same approach that it describes.
The guide first concedes that “[c]urrently, not everyone defines recycling
or the processes that constitute recycling in the same way” and that the
problems of not having uniform, national definitions of recycling “can
make it difficult to collect and analyze data and to compare the effectiveness
of recycling programs from one region to another” (Measuring 1).
The underlying, foundational aim of the guide is to establish definitions of
key terms and concepts
that facilitate uniform approaches to gathering recycling statistics. In its
glossary, the guide defines everything from aluminum cans and telephone
directories to mixed municipal solid waste and polyvinyl chloride. “Recycling,” the
guide states, “refers to the series of activities by which discarded materials
are collected, sorted, processed, and converted into raw materials and used in
the production of new products. Excludes the use of these materials as a fuel
substitute or for energy production” (italics in original, Measuring 54).
Recycling, according to the EPA, involves every step of the process of getting
the post-consumer material waste – “materials that have been used
as a consumer item and are diverted from municipal solid waste for the purpose
of collection, recycling, and disposition” (54) – from its originating
point (i.e. the home, restaurant, hospital, etc.), through the sorting of different
types of materials (metal, paper, plastic, etc.), to the place where the materials,
having been “converted into raw materials,” are used for new production.
That the process begins where the waste originates, or where it is first designated
and recognized as waste, suggests a minor infiltration of the EPA’s definition
into both public and private spaces. That is, a recyclable product may begin
as a consumer product, but it is not designated as recyclable waste until after
the product has been consumed. In this sense, the cereal boxes on our cabinet
shelves are in the process of becoming recyclable waste through their daily use.
Also, in this case, this type of recyclable waste originates in the private space
of our homes. I don’t mean to suggest that, in assigning guidelines for
gathering recycling statistics, the EPA has deliberately infiltrated the private
spaces of our homes; I do assert, however, that by prescribing definitions and
procedures that involve domestic spaces, the EPA’s procedures of information
gathering have a trickle-down effect that become embedded en route with a type
of ideology that inadvertently transforms statistical research into another means
Waste Management in Don DeLillo’s
As is often the case, fiction expresses contemporary power situations
and relationships and tells larger truths that historical records often
gloss over. That is, fiction
often has the ability to expose the truth of a historical context better
than a text on history. Nancy Easterlin notes that “[l]iterary
works are artifacts of human mind, language, and behaviour that are directed
toward the minds (and
sometimes the behaviours) of other humans, but never toward the non-human
environment; such dynamics suggest that the sets of relationships between
literary works and
the physical environment should be theorized with special care” (author’s
italics, 2). Nonetheless, I would assert that some texts do address the
non-human environment, albeit from a distinctly human perspective. That
is, literary works
may be both produced by and directed towards human subjects, but the distinctly
human perspective and treatment of the non-human environment may well be
what is being communicated. In the case of Don DeLillo’s Underworld,
late twentieth-century attitudes towards the earth, the ideologies that
create these attitudes, and
the technological apparatuses upon which these attitudes and ideologies
depend are woven throughout a distorted chronological narrative of the
search for a
baseball. Along the way, DeLillo depicts the role of waste and waste management
in conjunction with ideological views on natural environments. Specifically,
written during the post-Cold War, pre-9/11 era, referred to by Francis
Fukuyama as “The End of History,” Underworld reveals both a
certain characteristic post-Cold War paranoia and nostalgia, while illustrating
role as both the abject, underlying, discarded remnants of the paranoia
and nostalgia. Moreover, Underworld also expresses a characteristic appeal
of ideological surveillance
as it manifests in the character’s reactions to environed spaces.
DeLillo treats the attraction of surveillance by articulating its psychic
pull towards a relatively minor character, Eric:
He looked at Landsat photos shot from space a year or two earlier. The
pictures were false-color composites that reveals signs of soil erosion,
fracture and a hundred other events and features. They showed stress and
drift and industrial
ravage, billion-bit data converted into images.
He saw how remote sensors pulled hidden meanings out of the earth.
How sweeps and patches of lustrous color, how computer fuchsias or
shades might indicate a change in water temperature or where the dwindling
grizzlies go to forage and mate. He looked at spindly barrier beaches
that showed white
as shanked bone. He found sizable cities pixeled into mountain folds
and saw black lakes high in the ranges, kettle holes formed by glacial
He could not stop looking.
The photo mosaics seemed to reveal a secondary beauty in the world,
ordinarily unseen, some hallucinatory fuse of exactitude and rapture.
burst or color was a complex emotion he could not locate or name.
And he thought of the lives inside the houses embedded in the data
on the street that is photographed from space.
And that is the next thing the sensors will detect, he thought.
The unspoken emotions of the people in the rooms. (italics added,
In addition to illustrating the voyeuristic appeal of surveillance, this
section highlights the use of the technologies of visual nominalism as
a means of
understanding non-human subjects, “how remote sensors pulled hidden
meanings out of the earth.” The making of meaning, of course, is
a distinctly human action. The remote sensors, by human design, create
a framework that allows us to prescribe
meaning to environed spaces. In the case of the passage above, the “false-color
composites” are used to detect changes in the natural landscape,
foraging and mating habits of wildlife, the location of cities, and, ultimately,
location of human subjects.
Luke notes that “[o]nce one can watch the world in eco-panoptic videotapes
and photographs, the worldwatching project begins, turning photographic images
into political practices and ideological ideals aimed at environing Nature by
disciplining its spaces” (80). In much the same way, the images in this
passage from Underworld enable the environing of Nature as it is embedded, in
the process of environing, with “political practices and ideological ideals.” As
if to highlight the ideological implications of panoptic surveillance, Eric concludes
that the same technology used to monitor the earth will ultimately detect “the
unspoken emotions of the people in the rooms” of the houses in the
cities depicted in the photographs.
What, perhaps, is most revealing is that “[h]e could not stop
looking” (italics added). As Foucault would suggest,
panopticism is self-perpetuating once human subjects internalize ideological
surveillance. That is, human subjects become
part of the Panopticon by internalizing it. How, then, might we discuss
ideological surveillance as it is enforced upon non-human subjects? We
can assume that non-human
subjects don’t internalize ideological surveillance, and, if they
did, we probably would have no real way of knowing it. By being a distinctly
urge – the urge to monitor and survey – we have more to learn
about the way technologies of surveillance foster an overlap between human
and non-human subjects.
Even our approach to waste management, as Evernden suggests, reveals a
characteristically egocentric approach to non-human subjects. The idea
that nature is in danger
of being “imperiled through profligate waste and human mismanagement” suggests
that humans are both the cause of nature’s imperilment and that “it
is up to us to devise the means to its salvation” (3). This attitude not
only justifies the methods of surveillance we impose on nature as a non-human
subject, but it also illustrates the fact that our discarded products come back
to haunt us – literally and metaphorically.
Waste occupies both a hidden and sacred space. On one hand, waste, as Kristeva
suggests, is the abject – the “jettisoned object” that
both purifies us and extricates us from ourselves:
Loathing an item of food, a piece of filth, waste, or dung. The spasms
and vomiting that protect me. The repugnance, the retching that thrusts
me to the
turns me away from defilement, sewage, and muck. The shame of compromise,
of being in the middle of treachery. The fascinated start that leads me
and separates me from them. (Kristeva 2)
Waste is also, on the other hand, the condition for the sacred. Kristeva
also notes that the "various means of purifying the abject – the
various catharses – make up the history of religions, and end up
with that catharsis par excellence called art, both on the far and near
side of religion” (author’s
italics, 17). What is jettisoned, according to Kristeva, can be purified,
and the most cathartic method of purification is through art. The purification
the abject – the recycling and sublimation of waste – is a
particularly important recurring theme in DeLillo’s fiction.
Underworld’s Klara Sax reclaims material waste as art, thereby
reclaiming and purifying the abject. Helyer notes, on one hand, that art
is just another
form of evacuation, that “[a]rt is firmly linked to abjection as
something ejaculated in an attempt to reinforce a difference, a separation,
and to ward
off the inherent fear of being engulfed by sameness” (1000). I would
assert, on the other hand, that Sax has, by choosing to work with material
done the opposite: Sax has reclaimed what was once ejaculated and has integrated
that into a new configuration. As Kristeva notes, the ultimate, cathartic
method of purifying the abject is through art. I concede that artwork necessarily
placing oneself on the canvas, and that an artist may certainly use art
as a means of “ejaculating” her own, unwanted waste; however,
the amalgamation of material waste and the metaphorical projection of Sax’s
self illustrates, if nothing else, the reclamation (and thus the recycling)
of the abject.
In both investing herself in the art and incorporating waste into the product,
a place in which the abject ebbs and flows both out of and into a manufactured
When Nick visits her in the desert, Sax is working on an enormous display
in which she has reclaimed discarded B-52 long-range bombers, “painting airplanes
that are a hundred and sixty feet long with wingspans even longer and total weight
operating on full tanks maybe half a million pounds…planes that used to
carry nuclear bombs, ta-da, ta-da, out across the world” (Underworld 70).
Sax’s works, she asserts, “is a landscape painting in which [she]
use[s] the landscape itself” as a “framing device” (70). The
landscape itself, however, bears the visible signs, craters, which mark earlier
detonations of weapons – tests performed in an uninhabitable terrain. Sax
has effectively taken a huge amount of discarded waste material, painted it,
and claimed it as art, and she has strategically used its placement in the desert
as part of the work itself. Sax is the minister in this marriage of waste and
warfare – a union resulting in a spectacular display. In Sax’s
art, waste material is aesthetically highlighted by its environment, debris
with terrain, and, perhaps most importantly, discarded weapons of war represent
the waste that must be creatively dealt with.
This is not creation for creation’s sake, nor is this purely Sax’s
method of catharsis. While art necessarily contains the artist’s narcissistic
urge towards creation and catharsis, it is also a product that, by virtue of
being art, is meant to be looked at. It is, in Sax’s case, a visual medium
of expression designed to convey an urgent message to the viewer. It is performance,
and performance demands surveillance. In much the same way that Eric cannot stop
looking at the satellite photos, Nick, and, later, Nick and his wife, are drawn
to Sax’s work. When Nick first sees it, he confesses that he “hadn’t
expected to register such pleasure and sensation” from viewing Sax’s
creation (83). Unlike Eric, however, Nick confesses that “[s]ometimes I
see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave.
If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock” (83). Regardless,
he brings his wife Marian back in a hot air balloon on her birthday: “I
[Nick] felt Marian hanging a sort of tremulous gawk over the padded edge of the
basket. It was a heart-shaking thing to see, burst and serpentines of color,
a power in the earth” (125). The spectacular display demands an audience.
The attraction of the spectacle forces the abject bombers back into the Shays’ reality.
“The terror act can arguably exist without victims,” writes Stephen
J. Mexal, “it
cannot, however, exist without spectators” (318). Terrorism, Mexal
suggests, is the means to its own end, but for it to function as both means
and end, it
must have a spectacular attraction. Along these lines, weapons of mass
destruction (WMD), in both name and form, are signifiers of spectacular
threat they impose by their very existence is a terrifying one. Moreover,
this threat is collectively produced in a “network of social meaning.” Terrorism,
like WMD, is a “floating signifier; it must be widely interpreted as terrorism in order to function as terrorism” (author’s italics,
320). WMD, as “floating signifiers,” represent the threat of
nuclear holocaust and the potential realization of such massive destruction.
I assert, implies their potential use towards this end; thus, they work
the same way that terror does. As they are interpreted as destructive forces,
so might they hypothetically function as such without having to actually
be presently used.
Moreover, the historical use of nuclear weapons lingers in our collective
social memories to such a degree that modern WMD become embedded, psychically
with our collective memories of such detonations as Hiroshima and Chernobyl.
In Underworld, the same day that The New York Times announced
home run, the Soviet detonation of an atomic bomb also appeared in the NYT’s front
page headlines. In a short essay published in The New York Times Magazine shortly after Underworld’s publication, DeLillo notes:
The final flash of the half-century – the final iconic fury – belongs
to the fireball and mushroom cloud of the nuclear bomb. The test explosion that
was announced the day the Giants won the pennant was code-named Joe 2 (for Stalin)
by United States intelligence. It occurred in Kazakhstan, a plutonium bomb that
measured roughly 25 kilotons. (“Power”)
This “test explosion,” as DeLillo notes, became a spectacular historical
marker – the event that carved the black line in the midway point
in the chronological timeline of the twentieth century.
Peter Knight states the novel’s “characterization of nuclear fear
as paradoxically a form of security is in line with a standard interpretation
of American paranoia as a psychic strategy for maintaining a stable sense of
identity, whether on the individual or the national level” (817).
Paranoia, in post-Cold War America, Knight suggests, is a characteristic
trait of American
culture and politics. Knight attributes this paranoia largely to the looming
threat of nuclear warfare during the Cold War era.
DeLillo writes that “[a]ll technology refers to the bomb” (Underworld 467). If this is the case, we might assume that the technology of waste management,
as DeLillo illustrates, also refers to the bomb – as in the final chapter
when waste is eradicated by an underground, nuclear explosion. Knight, however,
finds the link between the two not in the waste, but in the material product;
that is, Knight notes that, for example, DeLillo describes Jell-O molds as “sort
of guided missile-like” and a vacuum cleaner as “satellite-shaped” (Underworld 515, 520). Knight also describes Matt Shay’s insight of “some horrific
system of connections in which you can’t tell the difference between one
thing and another, between a soup can and a car bomb” (Underworld 446).
Essentially, Knight shows how “everything is connected” in this way,
asserting that this connection “between weapons and domestic goods, though
operating more at an emblematic than a factual level, nevertheless taps into
the plausible suggestion that both are part of a larger system of production” (827).
While Knight’s assertions are certainly convincing, he fails to note that
the domestic goods inevitably become waste and that wasted domestic goods and
weapons are factually (not just emblematically) linked in both Klara Sax’s
art and in the Kazakh test site where waste is disposed of by nuclear detonations.
In these cases, the “larger system of production” that is responsible
for nuclear weapons and domestic goods is also responsible for nuclear
detonations and material waste.
Waste is treated with weapons near Underworld’s end. Nick
Shay and Brian Glassic fly to a “remote site in Kazahkstan to witness
an underground nuclear explosion” that will presumably rid the world
of dangerous waste (788). Nick tells their host Victor that “there
is a curious connection between weapons and waste,” and Victor “says
maybe one is the mystical twin of the other…He says waste is the
devil twin. Because waste is the secret history, the underhistory, the
way archeologists dig out the history of early
cultures, every sort of bone heap and broken tool, literally from under
the ground” (791).
Waste, then, is the Underworld – the space under the crust that
tells us more about ourselves than we tell each other, the future’s
artifacts that will describe our culture to our great-great-grandchildren,
the “devil twin” of
our technological progress that remains on the outside margins of our techno-centric
Once the nuclear explosion has been detonated, Nick feel the ground rumble
slightly and hears a “guncotton thud.” Everyone exits the room in which they’ve
been waiting for the detonation, and they “stand and look for some time…and
there is a sense of anticipation left dangling in the wind” (799). The
small crowd is disappointed, “dejected,” that there is nothing
to see. Appropriately enough, the stronger twin has silently annihilated
underground. The abject has disappeared, seemingly without a trace.
If we view Klara Sax’s marriage of war and waste – her landscape
bomber art – as the abject manifested as art, how, then, do we view
this final marriage of waste and warfare? In Sax’s case, waste is
reclaimed. We are made to face the abject. In fact, as in Nick and
case, we must look at it. In the case of the nuclear detonation, there
is nothing to see, although the desire to watch still pulls spectators
towards a disappointing
theatre. The final marriage of waste and warfare, however, does not completely
fail to yield spectacular results. After the detonation, Viktor Maltsev
takes Nick and Glassic to the “Museum of Misshapens,” part
of the “Medical
Institute,” where they are shown preserved fetuses that have been
severely deformed from the effects of nuclear fallout – presumably
the aborted children of local mothers (799). Their visit to the museum
by a visit to the
radiation clinic. The destruction of the abject, the process of permanently
removing waste from sight, thus potentially penetrates the dermatological
the body. The results can literally get under our skin.
Recycling waste. Building bombs. Both are evidence of ideological perspectives
as they influence our attitudes toward and treatments of nature. We create
environed spaces, monitor them, justify saving and protecting them by means
technology, and protect their boundaries with weapons of mass destruction.
Ideological surveillance regulates the attitudes that manifest as these
behaviors. The results
spill over into our social and non-social inter/reactions. On one hand,
groups such as the EPA function as regulators of this brand of ideological
in a self-perpetuating system that affects our understanding and reactions
toward non-human subjects. On the other hand, without such efforts, the
accumulation of waste could potentially, ultimately overrun our environments.
Regardless, either way, the ideological underpinnings of earth-friendly
endeavors represent distinctly human constructs that determine our ecological
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